Lessons of the Forest

“It’s a real easy walk.” the ranger reassured me when I entered the park. Well, one man’s easy is another woman’s challenge dujour. Broad and gently sloping, level footing, the walk started out fine. A picnic table appeared right when I needed a rest. The next 1/4 mile proved pleasant enough, but no more places…

Letting go of Realism

1. June Lake No.1 This past weekend I went in search of a natural swimming hole & came upon the Quemahoning reservoir. Such stunning landscape! After a deeply satisfying ( and chilly!) swim, I set out to paint in a new direction. I’ve heard variations on this suggestion from several sources. Basically: “Let go of…

Constant Craving?

A female hummer just came by, hungry. She looked carefully at the flowers on my skirt, then examined my pink flamingo, then the fading red sign on the door. Disappointed off she buzzed. I'm thinking about how I crave foods- not for migration power, but for so many other needs. Case in point the morning,…

The Magnificence Right Under Your Nose

A friend called to day, sharing coffee and gratitude though many states apart. She shared a thought experiment: what if everything, what if I were completely perfect right now, in this moment? What if the fear, disappointment, worry, grief were all lifted from our shoulders, without effort, right now. If it crosses our mind, it…

Those year end reflections…

I've been slurping up the "best trash cans of 2017" stories that most media organs pump out this time of year. Why? So I can muse about 2017 without thinking too much about reality in America. You haven't seen "Greatest Hits of the 115th Congress," have you? As indulgent as they may seem, this NYT…

Water, Words, & Grief

The simple sentences from these grieving parents touched me like poems. From The Daily 360° from nytimes.com Miguel: I've had a lot of problems on the water and the land. I recently lost my daughters... I used to think only of fish when I came out here. Now I see my daughter's faces in the…

12 Steps to Living with the Election Results

Dear readers: I have started several posts since last week's election results and haven't decided which impassioned essays will live or die. In the mean time, I come bearing gifts, this one from Nicholas Kristof of the (notoriously liberal) NY Times.  Link to complete original article Traumatized by the election results, many Americans are asking: What…

Winning While Not Winning

Back in September I applied for an artist's residency at Big Bend National Park, an opportunity to live and work for a month in one of our largest and most remote wilderness areas, right on the Mexican border (image above.) As I worked on the application, I gained a new understanding of why I paint the way…

A Clouded View

When I come downstairs in the morning I open the door for my two critters, who trot happily out the door. They always greet the day with tails held high, so delighted to greet the world. I sip my coffee and come to consciousness more slowly. In fact I'm cautious how I approach the day. Will I…